|Review: Viperine - The Predator Awakens|
|The Predator Awakens|
Label: Metal-Rules Records
Year released: 2004
Genre: Power Metal
Review online: September 21, 2004
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
for:The Predator Awakens
Rated 2.75/5 (55%) (12 Votes)
Now I know I'm going to get flack about this one. In case you somehow missed the hubbub, this is the first signing by the brand new Metal-Rules Records, as the guys there have decided that running a metal website is not painful and thankless enough, they want to run a label too. Viperine are a good band from Sweden who are showing a lot of potential on this release, but they have some rough spots, believe me.
This is billed as Power Metal, but with a very heavy guitar sound, no keys, and no happy melodies, I have to class this as just good old Heavy Metal. If you are looking for the next double-bass Dreamtale clone, look elsewhere. Viperine play heavy, crunchy, hooky metal with some killer riffs and some very good leads. I love the heavy, almost sludgy mix that puts real meat on this CD, and you can hear the bass too – the bass! Right there you know this ain't no flower metal album. There are some good songs here, especially the speedy, punchy opener. But really, all the songs are good or pretty good.
But there is one thing I do not like about this album, and I have to say it straight out: the singer sucks. I mean he's really fucking terrible. He's aiming for an Udo/Rock'n Rolf thing here, and that's cool, those are the kind of vocals I would have wished for on this kind of album, but this guy… He's just awful. Half the time he's off-key, and the other half of the time he's straining so hard to sound tough he literally sounds like he's taking a shit while singing. Maybe it was the recording, maybe the vocal takes were rushed, maybe he'll get better. But he comes really fucking close to ruining this whole CD he's so bad. If this album had a better singer it would smoke, hands down, as these guys can really play, and they have come up with some perfectly headbangable material here. If you like dark, heavy melodic metal in the vein of Sacred Steel or maybe Cauldron Born then this is worth a look, (and as a show of solidarity to the guys at Metal-Rules, who need all the help they can get.) If Viperine can either get a better singer or get a better performance out of the one they have then their next album will be worth getting without a doubt. This one is worth getting too, but beware the vocal pain rays. If you can get past those though, there is some killer metal on this disc.
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